How Can Stress Cause Grey Hair?


Have you ever teased your hair in the mirror and saw a grey hair jutting out? Would you consider that your reality check moment where you had a not pleasant flashback of how life is currently going?

Amidst the hustle-bustle of our daily life, we rarely put aside anytime for self-care, the only form of self-care you could afford to put time aside for is probably sleep and takeout dinners. Though there is no exact scientific proof on whether or not your hair could turn grey due to stress, it is definitely up for debate.

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Grey hair is ideally caused due to the lack of melanin production in the stem cells of our hair, although the facts that back up stress factors are that the stress can cause the melanocyte cells to stop producing, which inevitably leads to us losing the colour of our hair.

Let’s look into the factors that induce stress in us:

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 Stress can be divided into two categories, i.e. internal and external factors,

Internal Factors are:

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  • Mental illness
  • Death of an intimate acquaintance
  • Traumatic events
  • Chronic illness
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse
  • Having to spend a long time thinking about an inevitable fate (A criminal with a death sentence)
  • Guilt

External Factors are:

  • Being over-worked at your job
  • Financial problems
  • Performing in front of a large audience
  • Working in conditions that may put at the risk of danger
  • Unfair treatment at work
  • Worries about your future and financial security
  • Poor decision-making skills.

These are a few factors that may induce stress in one’s daily life. We are very receptive to the environment around us and we don’t notice the effects it has on our body. Though the question remains unanswered on a scientific level, anecdotally let’s recount the story of the young queen Marie Antoinette whose hair had turned completely grey by the time she was to be beheaded by the guillotine.

Genes play a major role in the greying of your tresses but mix that in with a tad bit of human psychology we are sure to find the answer in one of those strands.